CD6 special: U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price endorsed Susan Wright, who released a list of an additional 49 endorsements.

DMN/UT-T Poll: A slim majority of Texans approve the way Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is handling his job, and fewer than a third of Texans disapprove, according to the latest Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler poll (PDF). His overall job approval rating is 52/31. He received the approval of a third of Democrats and nearly three quarters of Republicans.

President Biden’s job approval rating is 47/40 overall. Only 14% of Republicans approve of Biden’s job performance. Independents’ approval of Biden (42/35) was very close to their approval of Abbott (44/34).

Overall, respondents had net-positive views of the job performances of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (38/27) and Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (36/29). Respondents favored U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (40/26) more than U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (42/45). Respondents’ “impression” of former President Trump was, as it often has been, almost evenly divided (43/47).

Asked about the five (at the time) emergency items identified by Abbott, a plurality of respondents identified “election integrity” as the “highest priority for the state.” Interestingly, this view was held by 31% of Democrats, 32% of independents and 41% of Republicans. The second choice varied. Behind election integrity, Democrats favored rural broadband (26%), independents favored COVID-19 lawsuit protection (27%) and Republicans favored penalizing cities for reducing police budgets (28%).

Asked about the necessity of “requirements beyond signature verification of absentee ballots to increase election integrity,” 63% of respondents, including 43% of Democrats, agreed.

Fort Worth: Mayor Betsy Price endorsed Mattie Parker to succeed her.

Hutto: Council member Mike Snyder won the mayoral special election, 71%-29%, over Steven Harris for the unexpired term of former Mayor Doug Gaul, who resigned in November. Villarreal Salvo won the special election for Snyder’s seat.

Victoria: Mayor Rawley McCoy passed away Friday night after suffering a heart attack. He was elected in 2019. Council member Josephine Soliz will act as mayor until a special election to fill the remainder of McCoy’s term.

Voter Fraud: Medina Co. Justice of the Peace Tomas Ramirez (R) was arrested after being indicted on 19 counts of voter fraud and unlawful possession of a ballot or ballot envelope. Three other people were also arrested.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Attorney General’s office into allegations of vote harvesting at senior living centers for the 2018 Republican primary election. Ramirez defeated incumbent Phil Montgomery by 73 votes. He received nearly 80% of the absentee vote, a margin of 66 votes.

In a statement, Ramirez said he would “vigorously defend” himself and expects to be vindicated.

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